The Physics of Filter Coffee by astrophysicist Jonathan Gagné is perhaps the most significant book ever written on the science of coffee brewing. In the book Jonathan discusses the physics of percolation, extraction, and grinding, as well as water chemistry. He takes the reader down such rabbit holes as pouring-kettle design, optimizing turbulence while pouring, the impact of fines on percolation, the physics of paper filters, and the geometry of various brewers. He also presents some original ideas about coffee brewing and backs it all up with reams of facts and data.
The most wonderful thing about The Physics of Filter Coffee is not the impressive depth of the science, but the practical lessons Jonathan draws from the science. Unlike, say, Illy’s Espresso: the Science of Quality, an impressive treatise on the science of espresso, The Physics of Filter Coffee offers an abundance of practical recommendations derived from science, data, and experimentation. Any barista who reads this book will immediately have new tools to make better coffee.
Jonathan Gagné is a researcher in astrophysics at the Montreal Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, and an adjunct professor at Université de Montréal. He loves to think about coffee brewing and use the tools of science to learn how to brew better coffee.